Top 10 Email Archiving features you shouldn’t live without

For most firms, the incremental cost of not adequately archiving emails can quickly escalate into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Email archiving is the solution to these woes—but not all services are created equal. As you consider your providers, here’s what to look for.


Compatibility with your email platformThe best scenario is if your email archiving provider is the same as your email provider. But if that’s not the case, then make sure your provider is compatible with all popular email solutions—including Office 365 as well as other Microsoft Exchange, Notes, Google Mail, GroupWise, IMail, Scalix, and Zimbra environments.


Rapid migration of historical dataWhen you talk to a provider, ask about “ingestion speed”—that is, how long it takes for them to import your historical data. If a provider lacks a robust architecture, it can be a long and painful experience to actually get the solution up and running.


Simple searching-and-retrievingNon-IT people should be able to easily use your archiving provider’s search and retrieve features. If it’s not, then IT will be called every time there’s an email to recover. This will add time and complexity to every search.


Fast searching and retrievingMost companies have tens or hundreds of millions of emails in their archive. Your provider should offer the ability to search through all of them rapidly. The best providers can sift through these massive archives within a few seconds.


Robust searching and retrievingAn archiving provider may offer fast and easy searching, but what good is it if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Your provider should give you a big searching toolbox—including full text search, tagging capabilities, rich Boolean logic, and the ability to search within at least 400 different kinds of attachments.


High levels of redundancyMost email archiving solutions only replicate data across two-to-four data centers. This may seem adequate, but when Hurricane Sandy hit, some providers saw multiple datacenters knocked out. To be completely reliable, your provider should replicate data across a minimum of eight datacenters.


High levels of resiliencyYou want your archived data to remain free of corruption, forever. Most email archiving solutions boast resiliency of 99.999%, which implies an annual expected loss of 1-in-100,000 objects. You should seek a higher resiliency rate, such as “eleven-nine’s”, or 99.999999999%. This implies an annual expected loss of 1-in-one-hundred-billion objects.


Full compliance with government mandatesNot every archiving solution is compliant with ERPA, FRCP, SOC, SEC or HIPAA. Make sure you ask. And if you’re thinking about ever going public, make sure your archiving solution complies with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)—which requires tamper-proof WORM media, SSAE-16, ISO 27001, and FISMA at a minimum.


Legal hold for any emailA sad fact is that 90% of all businesses will be involved in litigation at some point. In order for email to be submitted as evidence, it must usually be kept under a “legal hold”. And to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a firm must produce all relevant emails within a minimum timeframe. Make sure your provider does this before you find yourself facing a fine—or worse.


Outstanding phone support if you need any helpIf you ever get in a bind, it’s critical to have live expert help that’s just a phone call away.
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Tony Cohen

Tony joined BT in 1987 and chose to develop his career in data communications. He moved from an engineering to programme management role with Global One before taking up a position as Global Account Director in 1999. Tony joined iPass in 2002 where he was Head of channel sales before moving to Intermedia to grow their European channel sales organisation. In 2012 Tony joined FSI Cloud as General Manager to accelerate the development of their hosting and managed IT solutions division.

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